Raw Design Studio

Where did the inspiration for your office space design come from?

The inspiration for our studio design was prompted by the wealth of original features that the building holds. Our space is in a former cotton mill’s old engine room, which is covered, in amazing creamy ceramic tiles from the Victorian period and very high ceilings!

The ceiling height and huge windows fill the space with natural light so we decided to enhance this even further by painting the entire studio completely white.

We then added shots of color via typographic posters and pieces that we have collected from places as far flung as India.
As well as the flat white walls, we installed dry erase paint on two of our walls, allowing us to doodle away and display our ideas during creative meetings, which has really enhanced our work.

What is your favorite part/design of your office space and why? i.e. the arched window in the front office, etc.

My personal favorite is our ‘play area’, which is where the whole team can relax and enjoy some time away from their computer screens. The vintage farmhouse table is a great place to catch up with the latest design publications and to hold informal meetings with clients.

Do you feel that having a well designed and inspiring office has changed the way you and your employees work?


Our space is all simple lines and original features, with a vast expanse of white set against the restored creamy Victorian ceramic tiles. It was very important to us to create distinct zones so we decided to use the mezzanine level as a more formal meeting space and we separated the main floor into work and play zones.

From a practical point of view, the new studio has allowed us the space to implement a recycling system and many of the pieces that we bought as part of the move were second-hand finds.

The dry erase wall spaces have changed the way we work massively and idea generation now flows much more freely around the studio and we feel that the space allows us to push ideas further and it is a wonderful place for clients to visit!

Tell us about Raw Design Studio and what it means to you to have a well-designed office space.


Founded in 2007, Raw Design Studio is a group of creatives based in Manchester, England. We produce innovative, effective and award winning design across a wide range of disciplines. As a collective we aim to generate ambitious ideas that are used to connect with people in a meaningful, productive way.

We had been based in Islington Mill for almost 4 years, starting in a small, freezing studio in the main building before we moved over to the old engine house.

Islington Mill is a beautiful, industry-blackened spinning mill in Manchester. Unlike much of Manchester’s industrial heritage, which has been converted into loft apartments, Islington Mill is now home to over 50 artists’ studios, an art gallery, a recording studio and a venue space. It is a bohemian enclave, attracting creatives from around the world with its experimental club nights and art installations.

For us, it’s really important to be surrounded by other interesting creatives and there’s a real community feel to the place, with bands playing in the club space, barbecues on the yard in the summer and collective events in the run up to Christmas. This is something that we treasure and was one of the main reasons we decided to remain at the mill. We’ve been able to grow and become successful (now a team of 8) by creating a well-designed studio and we can’t imagine being anywhere else!

Learn more about Raw Design Studio here



  • Todd Zerger says:

    There are many inspirational spaces here. Thank you for gathering the collection. I’ve posted about it as part of my own search for great micro studio spaces. I’m really intrigued by Raw Design Studio’s space because it seems particularly livable and achievable for those of us without an Ogilvy & Mather size budget. Plus this seems like an office designed for the post-admiration phase when everyone has to show up, personalize it and bend some corners in the process of getting some great work done. Looking forward to future office profiles!